Wireless Vital In Florida
The Sheriff’s Office in Pinellas County, Fla., has fitted 60 wireless Wi-Fi access points at various places in its offices and jails, allowing users to access voice-over-IP services and a wired network.
Wireless technology was needed because conventional data and voice networks could not be used in all the places officers went to, according to Tom Baumgartner, network administrator for the Sheriff’s Office. With a wired system, “even when you think you’ve covered everything, you’ve missed something,” he says, and the omission can become “an officer safety issue.”
Making buildings secure also requires that buildings be impenetrable to wireless phone signals, resulting in areas that could not support wireless communication among officers. Now, deputies can use palm appliances, tablet PCs, notebooks, and Web-equipped phones to connect to the network, allowing them to view real-time updates of inmate records, emails, and other vital data.
Administrators used Wavelink’s Mobile Manager and Avalanche to let them arrange devices and profiles that could also be used for automatic resets in the wake of power outages. The Mobile Manager is also able to encrypt signals and merge with existing security features such as access and authentication controls in the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol directory, says Eric Hermelee, vice president of marketing at Wavelink.
For the future, the Sheriff’s office is looking into such features as voice-over-IP and synchronization between the network and in-vehicle notebook computers, says Baumgartner.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Federal Computer Week (08/23/04); Frank, Diane.